Juggernaut by Adam Baker

Posted on 21st February 2012 in Reviews

Something wicked lays waiting, dormant yet coiled to react, deep in the heart of the Iraqi desert.  For Lucy and her team of mercenary opportunists a chance at a fortune comes when she learns of a hidden haul of millions of dollars of Sadam’s gold. But danger lurking both subtly and provocatively soon reveals itself to the rag-tag collective, and they encounter horrors beyond their wildest reckoning.

So it is that Adam Baker returns with a vengeance with Juggernaut. The author of Outpost, which won Spooky Reads Horror Book of 2011, not content with chilling us to the bone in the Arctic wastes has penned a prequel to that novel which shifts geographical placement and leanings to an equally isolated, but nonetheless engaging and dramatically-charged spot. Click here to read more.. »

Hell Train by Christopher Fowler

Posted on 10th January 2012 in Reviews

As a youth I loved watching Hammer Horror flicks – a habit thankfully that’s continued to this day. They are delightfully creepy, superbly melodramatic, absolutely kitsch at times, but nonetheless passionate in their attempt to output a unique tranche of terror onto the big screen. So it was with some delight that I dipped into Hell Train by Christopher Fowler to discover a most impressive tribute to this slice of ghoulish cinema.

With a title like Hell Train you can rest assured that this is an unapologetic ride of terror. Set around the time of the First World War, the Arkangel train, which passes through its Eastern European stations at midnight on the 8th full moon of each year, is a monstrous steam and iron behemoth. As it journeys on it collects an unusual assortment of passengers, and those who board soon realise that the cost of a ticket on this locomotive could come at a price far higher than they might’ve bargained for. Click here to read more.. »

Night of the Crabs by Guy N. Smith

Posted on 14th October 2011 in Reviews

In retrospect, some things really aren’t a good idea. Kanji-based tattoos you don’t know the true meaning behind, blind-dates setup by dubious acquaintances, and most of the 1980s from a fashion perspective. Night of the Crabs, by Guy N. Smith might at first glance seem like such a thing.

With its garish title, this pulp paperback from the 1970s might appear as a b-movie throw-back and adaptation. The picture of a giant crustacean threateningly waving claws in the air, mandibles dripping blood as it stares with its beady black eyes certainly doesn’t help things. Yet, it belies the classic piece of pulp-horror history that lies beyond. Click here to read more.. »

A Matter Of Blood by Sarah Pinborough

Posted on 8th September 2011 in Reviews

A Matter of Blood sees Sarah Pinborough craft a bleak, near-future semi-dystopian setting for this the first in her horror-thriller trilogy The Dog-Faced Gods. The government and population are broke: the financial system has collapsed, handed a life-line via a global corporate behemoth The Bank. The NHS is at breaking point and is available for few people, a woeful situation compounded by a new, more virulent strain of HIV that’s rapaciously claiming more victims.

As if this state of play wasn’t sufficient enough to depress, criminal atrocities that play an immediate backdrop to the novel include the daylight shooting and murder of two children, and a brutal serial killer slaughtering citizens in a brazen, yet sickly creative manner. Make no mistake, the London, and atmosphere, which this book sets up provokes discomfort as one realises that given a few small nudges one way or another in the global-macro fiscal state alone, it could be a city that’s much more realised. Click here to read more.. »

Dead Bad Things by Gary McMahon

Posted on 15th August 2011 in Reviews

Dead Bad Things is a fierce and primal supernatural novel. Brutalist horror writer Gary McMahon has succeeded not only in gestating further the furtive world he seeded in its prequel, Pretty Little Dead Things, but has also excelled in exuding a sense of menace and threat rarely seen in paranormal fiction.

But be under no illusion, this is bleak stuff. Black stuff. Chose a metaphor: chiselled from onyx, painted on pitch canvas, cut from darkest cloth; any are suitable. I don’t normally care for my horror to be so perpetually gnashing, unless it really is doing something special. Books from the dread literature canon that have awed others with their decadent flourish, such as Exquisite Corpse or The Seven Days of Peter Crumb, left me fairly ambivalent as I felt they over-played their more traumatic aspects to their detriment. Click here to read more.. »